Considering Metal Detecting in Maine? This is What You Should Know

For most people, metal detecting as a hobby involves more than finding buried treasure. It comes with mental and physical benefits for people of any age. Metal detecting is a fantastic hobby because it combines exercise, learning new skills, and enjoying the outdoors’ tranquility. It also offers an opportunity to socialize since you can join clubs or participate in group treasure hunts.

metal detecting in maine

By engaging in metal detecting, Maine residents can have fun as they find buried items such as jewelry, coins, gold, historical items, bullet casings, and other metallic items.

Though Maine is one of the smallest towns in the United States, it has proven, over the years, to be one of the most fruitful spots for metal detecting enthusiasts. This can all be attributed to the cultural, social, and economic history Maine has.

From being the home to Native American tribes like the Wabanaki to being at the century of the gold rush and having a rich colonial history, the state is littered with many places where individuals can go treasure hunting.

This article’s raison d’etre is to highlight what Maine offers in terms of treasure hunts and illustrate everything to do with metal detecting in Maine.

Laws, rules, and regulations

All metal detecting activities in the United States are regulated by a law called Archeological Resources Protection Act. Its purpose is to ensure that items that have historical and cultural importance and significance are preserved. Thus, it prohibits removing objects and items human-made, which are over a century old.

This law only applies to public property and land. When it comes to metal detecting done in private property, all one has to do is obtain written permission from the landowner and begin the process.

The ARPC applies to all the states. Maine, additionally, has other rules and regulations when it comes to metal detecting. You can go metal detecting on state grounds, but you will require a permit. Additionally, treasure hunting and metal detecting on historical grounds are prohibited, and anyone caught doing so is liable to persecution.

There are a plethora of places in which you can go metal detecting. However, Acadia National Park isn’t one of them. Acadia has a pretty significant background, as it dates back to more than 12,000 years ago. That being said, the state forbids any form of treasure hunting on it.

That being said, there are still numerous places in which you can go metal detecting in Maine. Most of the said tasks are located in the western half of the state. Metal detecting involves chance. Thus, though there are some spots in the eastern half of Maine where you can go metal detecting, you will have a higher likelihood of hitting the jackpot in the West.

There are three main types of places you can go metal detecting in Maine..

Ghost towns

There are numerous ghost towns located all over Maine. Due to the gold rush, and the subsequent decline of gold in the area, many places have buildings, but not many people. They include;


Founded during the gold rush fever, Madrid was a vibrant spot in the 18th century. Hundreds of people settled there in the hope of making it big once they got some gold. However, as the amount of gold declined, so did the number of people in the town. People go there for a different typę of treasure hunting, trying to get relics from an era past.


Flagstaff is a hotspot of metal detector hobbyists, with many of them unearthing artifacts and items from the revolutionary war. Additionally, it is also remembered as once being the home of Benedict Arnold, the American military officer who served during the Revolutionary War.

Before you go there, you have to remember that Lake Flagstaff flooded many parts of the town. Thus, you have to carry a high-quality metal detector, one that won’t be damaged if it makes contact with water.

Dead River

Dead River is another town flooded by Flagstaff Lake, meaning that most of the town is underwater. That being said, the parts that are still above water have a lot of potential for retrieving treasures and historical artifacts.

Ligonia village

Originally inhabited by Irish immigrants hundreds of years back, Ligonia Village is now slowly being taken over by the Calvary Cemetery. Thus, if you want to harvest relics, you should do it now, before the entire town becomes part and parcel of Calvary Cemetery.


Maine is home to a couple of excellent beaches, which are also great places where you can go for metal detecting and treasure hunting. Some of the best beaches to do so include;

Popham beach state park

Popham beach state park

This beach-turned park is especially popular with the locals and the tourists in the area. Like all other state parks in the area, you will need a written permit to go treasure hunting and metal detecting.

The site is ideal in the morning hours. Like any other part, as the day progresses, especially in the summer, the number of people will increase, which means that you have to battle it out with other metal detecting hobbyists. Additionally, if you make it there and the place is full of sunbathers and swimmers, then chances are you may not even be granted the permit.

Birch Point Beach state park

Maine is home to hundreds of shipwreck sites, and Birch Point is a quintessence of this. Over the years, metal detector hobbyists have found thousands of artifacts and relics along the beach. Though you will need a permit to go about your metal detecting endeavors on this beach, it will be worth all the effort at the end of the day.

Footbridge Beach

The footbridge is a unique site for metal detecting, mainly because it doesn’t require any form of permit or permission, unlike the other aforementioned beaches. Thus, you can enjoy your hobby at any time.

You should note that New England as a whole can be pretty chilly at times. Thus, if you plan on going metal detecting in Footbridge Beach, it is probably a good idea to carry a jacket with you.

Ferry beach state park

Ferry beach state park

The Ferry Beach state park spans over 120 acres, covering both Atlantic and inland shoreline wilderness. The white sandy beaches offer a pleasant place for recreation. Ferry Beach is called Ferry Beach because there were highways and roads in the area, people would often use ferries as a means of navigation.

Thus, you will likely find relics from a couple of hundreds of years back, as the soil and sand in the area are known to hold a lot of items from a period past.

State parks

Some state parks in Maine aren’t found along the beach. Though there are a couple of them, there are four, in particular, that stand out.

Lily Bay State Park

New England is full of wonderful places where you can go and enjoy the view while also taking part in your favorite hobby. Lily Bay State Park is one such place. It is home to Moosehead Lake, which is actually the largest lake in New England.

Thus, this is a popular site for fishing as well as metal detecting. Fishers leave behind most of the relics and items that have been gotten during metal detecting. Native American tribes also did a lot of fishing in the area, and thus numerous Native American artifacts have been found in the area.

Baxter State Park

Not only is Baxter State Park a place where you can go metal detecting in Maine, but it is also, in the summer, a place where you can go overnight camping. Thus, if you plan on a vacation with some friends or family or both, this is exactly what you have been looking for.

The soil in this area has been known to be very fruitful in terms of relics and artifacts of the past, and thus you can wake up early in the morning and go about your metal detecting business without any fear of coming back empty-handed.

Bradbury Mountain State Park

Though named a mountain, Bradbury Mountain is more of a 500-feet high hill. That being said, it is a great place to go metal detecting. This is because of the rich history it has. The native Wabanakis regularly camped on the hill.

Other historical remnants in the area can be traced back to when Maine was a mining area. Thus, all these historical remnants are simply waiting to be found. Like all other state parks, you will first need a permit to go metal detecting here.

Aroostook State Park

The Aroostook State Park covers a 900-acre space, including both Echo Lake and Quaggy Jo Maintain. In addition to the park’s beauty, it is also a very fertile place in terms of historical items. It was once a Native American settlement. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the park is a treasure trove of historical items.


Maine may look like a small and desolate area, but you will be surprised at the amount of history such a small place has. From Native American artifacts to colonial relics from the Revolutionary War, the place is a treasure trove for those that want to go metal detecting.